The London startup scene is booming. The experts at Startups of London recently found that the London startup ecosystem is valued at a whopping $47 billion, which is way higher than the global median.
This exponential London startup growth has led to some key changes in the way that businesses are being established and run. The new generation of entrepreneurs are looking for flexible office solutions to accommodate flexible work environments, with greater stress on entrepreneur well-being causing a shift towards hybrid working.
In this blog post, we examine the key ways that virtual offices are empowering emerging businesses, allowing founders to capitalise on entrepreneurial opportunities while saving time, money and stress.
What is a virtual office?
Virtual office packages offer cost-effective office solutions to startups looking to make an impact on London’s business landscape.
A virtual office is a service that allows businesses and entrepreneurs to have a professional address without the need for a physical office space. That means that they can claim all the reputational benefits of an official company address in a prestigious business district, without paying any of the expensive overheads including rent and bills. Virtual offices are usually priced somewhere between £10 and £40 per month, making them a smart choice for startup cost management.
For example, Impact Brixton – a community-driven workspace in South London which offers affordable startup support services – offers virtual office packages starting at just £12.50 per month. That means that businesses are able to use our location in Brixton Village as their official company address on Companies House. This is a great way to build trust with a client or customer. Because when they look your business up, they’ll see that it’s registered to a professional London postcode in a vibrant business hub in London. So it seems super credible!
Virtual office advantages don’t stop at boosting your company’s reputation. Scroll down to see a full list of key benefits of using a virtual office for your business.
What are 5 advantages of using a virtual office?
The virtual office impact on startups is quite impressive. Virtual offices can offer huge benefits in company registration, startup budgeting and networking for startups. Here are the top five advantages of getting a virtual office for your company.
1. Increased privacy and security
Lots of people choose to use their home address for their company registration. But while that’s perfectly legal, it may not be a good idea. UK law states that all limited companies need to be registered with Companies House, which is a public record accessible online. That means that if you use your home address when you register your company, anyone will be able to look up your company and see your address. So it’s not the best for your privacy!
This is a key reason why many founders choose to take out a virtual office to register their company. It’s the perfect way to create a clear separation between your business and your home life, without limiting your business growth by spending valuable funds on rent and bills. And it means you don’t have to put your home address on Companies House!
2. A professional image for your business
A virtual office, especially one with a prime location like Impact Brixton’s in Brixton Village, can help to give your business a professional image.
Many businesses find it difficult when first starting out because they don’t have tons of client referrals or customer reviews to use to prove that they’re a reliable, credible business. This is where having a professional address can really help. Think about it – which business are you more likely to trust? A start-up with an address that starts “Flat 17A…”, or a company with a professional postcode in a business district that you immediately recognise? Using a virtual office can give your company address that will help to create a positive first impression with clients and partners, making them more likely to trust your products and services.
And if you choose a virtual office provider that offers administrative support in the form of virtual assistants or receptionists, this can boost your brand even more! These services allow you to set up a professional phone number for your company, which will be answered for you by a receptionist at your virtual office provider. This extra team member can help to build the impression that your company is established and professional. It’s a huge advantage of the development of new technology for startups – everything is centralised and easily forwarded onto you.
3. Big cashflow savings
When it comes to business innovation, virtual offices are right up there. They allow start-ups to access the professional reputation that comes with a company address in a renowned business district without paying any of the expensive overheads associated with renting a physical office space in a city like London. It’s no secret that rent and bills are rocketing, so using a virtual office can save small businesses thousands to spend on other pressing matters like product testing and marketing. So if we’re talking financial planning for startups, a virtual office is definitely something that needs to be in the plan!
4. Total flexibility for your team
Did you know that three quarters of employers in the UK offer hybrid working? And although that offers fantastic benefits for employees, it does beg the question – do businesses really need a physical office space anymore?
In our experience, the answer is yes and no. We get tons of enquiries for our office space from teams who are only in one or two days a week. Like most of the businesses we meet, they’re looking to offer their team flexibility and save money on rent – without compromising that all-important face-to-face time with their colleagues.
That’s where virtual offices like Impact Brixton are a really good option. We know that tons of exciting ideas sizzle out of in-person brainstorming sessions, and sometimes it’s while chatting over a sandwich in the kitchen that the best solution to a problem teases its way out. That’s why our virtual office packages give you the option to book space in our coworking area or meeting rooms, allowing you to bring your team together a few times a week without breaking the bank. It’s the perfect solution for hybrid working – and ideal for embracing London’s startup ecosystem.
Virtual offices provide flexibility for businesses that don’t require a permanent physical presence. It’s an ideal solution for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and businesses with remote teams or those always on the move.
5. The perfect way to grow your network
The advantage of getting a virtual office with a provider like Impact Brixton is that it often comes with access to a network of creatives, freelancers and small business owners.
This opens up huge potential for business collaboration, with opportunities to find work and potential partners to help your company grow. We’re really pleased that people often recommend Impact Brixton for startups because of the community events that we hold, offering local creatives, freelancers and small business owners the chance to meet and network with their peers in a relaxed and welcoming environment. It’s always worth coming along – you might just find your next collaborator!
What happens to my mail when I set up a virtual office?
Another huge advantage of using a virtual office is that it can help make sure you never miss an important piece of mail. As part of your virtual office package, your provider will handle your mail – and you can usually choose whether you’d like it to be scanned and emailed to you, or whether you’d like it to be forwarded to your home address.
We often advise our customers to opt for mail scanning. This is a great way to keep your business mail separate from your personal post, and it means that you can receive your letters immediately.
Choosing a virtual office also helps you to avoid disruption caused by moving house, or moving office. You don’t need to notify all of your customers and clients that your address has changed or worry about missing an important piece of post – because all your mail will continue to be delivered to your virtual office address. This means that your clients won’t experience any disruption to your services, making for a smooth customer experience. It’s ideal for managing startup stress!
Is it legal to use a virtual office for your business in the UK?
Yes! If you’re concerned about compliance, don’t worry. UK startup legal framework allows virtual offices – and it’s a really popular options among businesses, especially small and remote ones. Companies House regulations mandate that every business, whether operating from a physical location or a virtual office, must have a registered address where official communications can be sent. So a virtual office is absolutely fine!
However, as with all business endeavours, it’s important to make sure that you’re operating in line with all relevant regulations and guidelines. To register a company in England and Wales you must register an address in either of these locations. So you can’t use a virtual office in, say, Sydney Australia for your official company address when you register your business with Companies House. But if you choose somewhere in England and Wales, you’re good to go!
In terms of business amenities for startups, a virtual office is definitely something to consider for your company. Navigating London’s thriving startup scene demands innovation and adaptability, and virtual offices emerge as a strategic powerhouse – offering increased privacy and security, a professional image for your company, huge cash flow savings and total flexibility for your team.
The future of work is changing, but with a virtual office your company will be ahead of the curve. And because we love startup success stories, you can use the code IMPACT30 to get your first month free of any of Impact Brixton virtual office packages. After that, our services start at just 0.41p per day – one of the cheapest virtual office or mail redirection services around. Join our community!